Now before I get myself into too much trouble, in all seriousness, I want to say that I have the utmost respect for teachers. They’re grossly under-payed and under-appreciated. I think anyone at the campus-level of public education will testify to the all-to-often absurdity of it. When I write about education in these emails (and in my upcoming novel The Writer is Dead), it’s never to offend but to satirize the goofiness of it all. Righteous indignation born out of willful ignorance seems to be the order of the day in America. Educators stand on the front lines and try to hold it back against incredible odds. We simply don’t deserve the teachers we have.
Now let’s get weird…
(An email about laptop carts) I have fond childhood memories of carts. When I was a wee lad, mother and father would place me in a wobbly cart, tie it to their rear bumper, and haul me around town as if I were in the world’s smallest horse trailer. No helmet. No seat belt. Just me, the open road, the wind in my hair, and bugs in my teeth. Whenever the ride stopped, father would get out, look back at me the way one might look at a flat tire, and grumble, “He’s still there,” to mother. Such a kidder, my old man!
If you receive an email that asks you to click a link to verify information, please disregard and delete. If you press the link, the universe will implode and you and everyone you love will be sucked into a vortex of never-ending pain.
Sometimes you may find that a projected image does not match what’s on your computer’s monitor. Instead, it just shows a screen with the school district logo on it. You may not realize it, but the district logo contains subliminal information intended to make your class docile and compliant. However, studies have been inconclusive and may even suggest the opposite is true. Side effects include, but aren’t limited to, nosebleeds, nausea, blank stares, drooling, violent outbursts, and severe memory loss. Though the district acknowledges the drawbacks of subliminal mind control, they refuse to adjust the logo because it looks particularly good on lapel pins.
It’s 2016 and we’re still using paper sign-in sheets! Who are we, the Flintstones? I don’t know about you, but I don’t ride to work on a Pterodactyl. Sometimes I have to use my feet to stop my car, but that has more to do with being poor than primitive. So to make us feel like we live in this millennium, we’re moving to digital time clocks.
Here’s the catch: I need your fingerprints. Your fingerprint will serve as a password to clock in and out and for nefarious purposes such as tracking your shopping habits and/or stealing your identity.
Now before you freak out, know that this does not record an image of your print. As much as I’d like to frame some of you for murder, that isn’t a possibility with this system. It simply assigns a code to your print using a mathematical algorithm derived from the variations in it.
(In response to outrage over the aforementioned time-clocks)
There’s been a fair amount of annoyance over the fingerprint thing. Let’s face it, no one likes the idea of this:
But I want to assure you that this new time clock system does not care about your reading habits, will not insist on a gray and artless existence, nor will it try to convince you that 2+2=5. If you’re worried about your fingerprint being on file, here’s a brief explanation of how biometric technology works:
(Boring biometric system diagram here)
The other big concern is that the system might be hacked, but the server with the information is housed on campus and isn’t any more accessible than any other computer on our network. AND even if it was hacked, they wouldn’t get any information they don’t freely have access to already. I populated the database myself. All that’s there is your name and your district email address (both publicly available on our website), your employee id (useless outside of the district), and the fingerprint data which is more useless than a complex connect the dots game without numbers or visual reference points.
As it stands, we only have about half of you enrolled. Now don’t make me come to your room with a cigar cutter, because if I do, I’m walking away with a finger.
(In response to continuing outrage over the aforementioned time-clocks)
On Tuesday afternoon, I was accosted by a mob of angry teachers armed with yardsticks with nails hammered through the ends and grenades made from hollowed out granny smith apples. To escape, I had to barricade my office door with a laptop cart, break the window with my desktop computer, and help my son crawl outside. I told him to save himself and he asked if I was coming and I said that it was too high and I was scared to jump and then he reminded me that we were on the first floor and called me a “senile old fart.”
We sprinted to the car and as I fumbled for my keys, we were surrounded by frothy-mouthed educators who said I could see their fingerprints up close and personal if they gouged my eyes out with their thumbs. I yelped, unlocked the door, climbed in, started the car, and drove away in a nick of time leaving my son standing on the curb scratching his head in puzzled disillusionment.
We never made it to the car.
(When generic logins were discontinued (the real login has been replaced with AnonymousStudent / password, so don’t get any ideas)) On Tuesday morning, I made reference to the sudden passing of our beloved generic student, Mr. AnonymousStudent Password. In a fit of despondence over the new time clocks, AnonymousStudent ran to the cafeteria, grabbed the biggest knife he could find and, after declaring that he’d like to see them fingerprint someone with no fingers, sheared his digits clean off. Unfortunately, he aimed a bit too low as his fingers were attached to the rest of his hand at the time. Mr. Password bled to death behind the food service counter as opossums emerged from beneath the school to eat his face.
AnonymousStudent Password was an amateur hacker with a fierce gaming addiction, sordid internet search habits and, judging by the computers he most frequented, very poor hygiene. Alas, even with all his flaws we loved him dearly and feel a bit incomplete without him now. He was preceded in death by Windows 98, Windows XP, and that weird invisible man who used to declare that “You’ve got mail!”
AnonymousStudent Password leaves behind roughly 1,700 children with numbers for names.
I’m just trying to keep you apprised of the gradually subsiding chaos that has been the start to the 2014-2015 school year. For those of you concerned for my health because you spotted me slithering down the hall, half-asleep, pulling myself along with nothing but my tongue, last weekend did me some good. My quadruple vision has narrowed to double vision, I can breathe without a paper sack over my mouth, and I can walk in a straight line as long as the school doesn’t spin on its axis.
(In case you’re wondering, every year starts this way)